[LON-CAPA-users] Course Navigation Design

Ray Batchelor lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Mon, 2 Jun 2003 10:24:35 -0700

Hi Mark,
                 In my most recent course I am using simply.


The welcome.seq contains some primary instructions about which buttons to push 
on the remote and any course specific instructions.
I am trying to keep it concise but responsive to the kinds of questions 
students have been posing.  For example, I recently added to it an html file 
which explains (redundantly but in different words) how to use FDBK.
Often with such files I publish them, but do not necessarily include them in 
the course sequences, but merely make an anchor to them wherever appropriate.

For supplementary instructional material, I may just upload an html or pdf 
file to the supplementary DOCs and just leave them there for people to find.
  Students don't like to read, but they don't like to be left high and dry 
either.  I see a sort of a hierarchy of info, essential stuff goes into the 
course sequences, helper info is published (local domain if necessary) and 
ref-ed with an anchor in some  course sequence resource.  Non-essential but 
useful auxilliary material  (i.e. redundant with either the text/lab manual 
or with the course web site, or with the sequenced resources)  dropped into 
supp DOCS.

(I may revise this strategy later -- in particular to replace the anchored 
resources with ones included directly in the sequence but published local 
domain only -- but it quickly provided a solution to some continuity 
difficulties, without messing up my simple LINEAR course sequences.)

In the welcome.seq -- primer.html file I also include links to external 
websites such  as: the independent course web-site, and a site showing the 
locations and hours of campus distributed computing facilities.  I may decide 
to include a link to the university portal at some point also, but at this 
time that seems to cause some confusion...

I like your idea of trying the chapter/lecture period sequences and may try 
this myself.  Students want to have direct correlation between the different 
elements of their course.   An alternative to this approach that  I would 
also like to see, would be  XML tags that allowed me to  block out code in  
my publicly published resources, such that those blocks were restricted to 
the local domain.  Then I could include the text and lecture refs directly in 
my publicly published resources.  

However, your approach may be better/cleaner in the long run.